A new start!

I know i’ve been lacking on posts and i’m afraid i’ve had problems with time of recent months due to work and home commitments.

In a bid to help me with time i have decided to move my blog to another website address which i will inform you of shortly.

This new blog will include lots of new posts about our recent travels, holidays and also our new dog called Alfie who’s featured in the image!

Sorry for not posting more in recent months and i hope you’ll join me and my family in our new venture!

 

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Why i love Devon!

There’s one simple reason why i love living in Devon and that’s the vast range of weather and scenery.

This week i was in work, driving across Dartmoor between Tavistock and Okehampton when i felt compelled to stop and take a couple of photographs. Dartmoor in itself is a funny place. One minute it can be foggy, the next rainy and the next sunny.

On this day it was very cold yet sunny and as you can see from the photos, the scenery was absolutely stunning.

Devon – A truly beautiful county!!!!

Dartmoor

Fernworthy Reservoir

Fernworthy Reservoir is located near to Chagford in Devon and was constructed between 1936 and 1942.

The reservoir is surrounded by forest and moorland and covers approximately 37 hectares. At it’s deepest point, when full, the reservoir is around 64ft deep and holds somewhere in the region of 380 million gallons.

Fernworthy Old Bridge

During the building of Fernworthy Reservoir various buildings and structures became submerged beneath the waters including prehistoric hut circles , remains of farm walls, gate posts and the very impressive stone bridge and 400 year old clapper bridge which once stood of over the river.

fernworthy-clapper-bridge

When levels at the reservoir are very low these wonderful historic objects can be seen. The last time they were fully visable was in 2003, however due to low water levels at Fernworthy Reservoir this year we managed to get a couple of photos of both the bridges in all their glory.

fernworthy-old-bridge

 

Our Eurocamp Summer Holiday

our-eurocamp-summer-holidayOur Eurocamp Summer Holiday this year was to the stunning Saint Avit Loisirs Campsite in the Dordogne region of France and boy did we make a fantastic choice!

We always decide where to go on holiday as a family as in my opinion it’s just as important for the kids to be involved in the decision as it is for us and this year was no exception.

The first thing we generally do is to see if the kids are happy to go to France or whether they’d fancy somewhere different. Up until now they always been really happy with us going camping in France. The next thing we do is me and the Mrs find a selection of different campsites in France and then give the kids a choice over which ones they’d like to stay at.

ice-cream-eurocamp

This year there were a number of campsites to choose from but they picked Saint Avit Loisirs, with Eurocamp which we haven’t visited before.

I always find this to be quite a good way to do it as they have somewhere where they are used too along with another place which is completely different!

We decided again to travel from Dover to Calais by ferry as this was the cheapest and quickest way for us to cross the channel.

Well our week at Saint Avit Loisirs was spectacular! We arrived late Saturday afternoon following a long drive but the kids faces when we did finally arrive made up for it.

As we approached the campsite you could see the swimming pool complex from the road. The kids faces lit up with delight as they saw the variety of swimming pools and slides all around.

Saint Avit Loisirs is one campsite where you can only choose to stay at accommodation provided by the campsite themselves or via Eurocamp in one of there accommodation types.

You can see that the staff and owners of Saint Avit Loisirs have spent a long time over the layout of the campsite. The reception, bar, shop, restaurant, play area and swimming pools are all located near to the entrance and are all in close proximity to each other meaning you can quite easily keep an eye on the kids when they’re playing.

The accommodation we chose for our holiday was the Esprit 3 bedroom mobile home. It was located near to the end of the accommodation area which was brilliant as it meant that we had lots of space for the kids to play in. The Esprit came with air conditioning which was a welcomed benefit and the decking area made a great place for us to sit and eat the majority of our meals, especially those wonderful summer bbq’s!

bbq

Eurocamp Couriers and Clubs

Although we never tend to use the children’s clubs, we always take a look at the area provided for them. The space available was fantastic with lots of fields and open area. I was especially impressed with the Eurocamp couriers. On the second day of our holiday, one of the Eurocamp couriers came to our mobile home and asked us if our children wanted to attend the kids clubs on any of the days. The great thing about this, was the fact they were aware of all of our children’s ages and came prepared with the different clubs and activities that would suit each child which was very impressive.

The Swimming Pool

saint-avit-loisirs

We always tend to pick campsites with great swimming pools as this is one thing that the kids love to do on holiday. Saint Avit Loisirs fitted the bill perfectly as their swimming pool area is fantastic. The complex is spread out over the side of a hill, just below the bar and restaurant area and they’ve made great use of the slopes to help with provision of the fantastic slides.

As you enter the swimming pool area there’s a couple of decent sized swimming pools and a single older slide. As you make your way further along, there’s a brilliant long twisty slide which is quite fast and then finally two more slides for which you need inflatables, another swimming pool which is suitable for children and finally a water jet area for the younger ones.

Although there are quite a few sun loungers it’s well worth getting to the pool early to avoid missing out. One thing you need to remember though is that you’re not allowed to leave your towels on a sun lounger for a long time if you are not using the pool. Lifeguards do patrol the area and will remove towels from sun loungers if you have not been there for a while.

Other Facilities

The play area was very popular with our kids of an evening. There’s a variety of slides and play equipment along with several table tennis tables and an enclosed outside gym area.

play-area

With the play area being so close to the bar and restaurant, it’s a great was to spend an evening with you being able to sit down and relax with a glass of wine or beer whilst the kids continue with their fun.

table-tennis

We ate at the restaurant on one evening and had a take away for another and i have to say that both the volume and quantity of the food was very good.

Although most on site supermarkets are usually more expensive, the one at Saint Avit Loisirs wasn’t that bad. Prices were slightly higher but for emergencies and the odds and sods you tend to forget when you go shopping, it was more that adequate.

mini-golf

One of the great things about the campsite is it’s close proximity to plenty of things to do.

The supermarket is around 10-15 minutes drive away, for those that want to stock up and there are plenty of great places to explore.

We took a trip to the Chateau de Castelnaud which took us about an hour to get to. We also visited La Roque Gageac and friends of ours also took a canoe trip down the Dordogne.

castle-castelnaud

Saint Avit Loisirs is such a great campsite, we are already planning to go back in 2017!

We loved our holiday with Eurocamp and can’t wait to book again next year.

Woolpack Inn, Beckington

This weekend was my wife’s birthday and so as a little treat we decided to head off to Bath for a shopping trip. It’s somewhere, that sadly neither of us have been before and as it’s so close to home I am sorry it’s taken so long.

Bath was wonderful! We both loved the sights and my wife especially loved the shops and the Pandora shop where I bought her a few presents.

To finish off our trip I decided to treat her to a night away without the children. I’d been lucky enough to get a voucher for my birthday to stay at one of the Old English Inn’s properties and so decided to pick one outside of Bath as neither one of us wanted somewhere really busy.

I decided on the Woolpack Inn at Beckington near Frome and what a fabulous choice it was too!woolpack-inn-beckington

We arrived at the pub at some point around 5pm and were warmly greeted by the staff. I had read a few reviews on Trip Advisor, as you do and wasn’t surprised to see the usual moanings and groanings of people who will write anything to put somewhere down. I was happy to find that the bar and restaurant looked wonderfully clean, tidy and welcoming.

woolpack-inn-beckington-restaurant

 

 

Once we were booked in we made our way up to our room to drop off our bags. The room was very spacious with a massive bed, sofa and all the usual things you’d expect to see. Now there are reviews that i’ve read where people have slated the accommodation, i have to admit that the bathroom could do with being updated but it was perfectly fine for our stay. It was very clean and tidy, as was the bedroom.

Sorry about the state of the bed, the photos where taken after we’d had a jump on the bed to see how comfy it was, and believe me it was very comfy.

We pre-booked a table at the restaurant when i originally booked the room as i was unsure how busy the pub would get during the evening. the public bar area serves food but there’s also a lovely separate room where we, along with the others staying could sit. Outside there was a nice patio courtyard area with seats which i imagine to be really pleasant during summer months.

Now we move onto the food!

If you stay at the Woolpack Inn, you won’t be disappointed by either the quality or the quantity of the food.

I’ve eaten a fair few pub and restaurant meals in my time and these were smashing. For starters i had calamari and sweet chili sauce.

And for my main meal i decided to have a mixed grill. It’s not that often that i am beaten by a mixed grill but on this occasion i was. What a fantastic meal! The meat was beautifully cooked and very tasty, the staff were fantastic, checking that we were ok and bringing us drinks when required.

img_1615

My wife decided to have the Mac and Cheese, which she stated was one of the best meals she’d had in a long, long time!

We finished up with a drink in the bar before heading off upstairs to our room where we both enjoyed a cracking nights sleep on a wonderfully comfy bed.

The next morning we had breakfast! I had a traditional breakfast and Mrs had eggs benedict again both were cooked to perfection and the staff were extremely helpful and polite.

I would highly recommend the Woolpack Inn at Beckington to anyone looking for a place to stay near to Bath but far enough to enjoy the peace and quite of a countryside setting!

Beautiful Dartmoor

Following on from my post What a difference a day makes, it certainly does when you live on Dartmoor!

No matter what the weather Dartmoor is always beautiful in my mind, just thought i’d upload a few photos of my wander with Stanley the dog this morning. It’s so bright and summery up on Dartmoor today you could be forgiven for thinking that summer was just around the corner and winter is far behind, however knowing Dartmoor as well as i do i’d suggest that a rainy day will be with us again sooner than i think.

In the meantime please enjoy!


What a difference a day makes!

What a difference a day makes – too true.

This wonderful song by Dinah Washington has to have been made for Dartmoor! I took Stanley dog out for a walk this morning and as soon as i got up onto the moors this song popped into my head. Yesterday morning was quite different, it was bright and sunny and yet today it is a completely different kettle of fish.

Continue reading What a difference a day makes!

Pew Tor – Devon

Pew Tor – Devon

Last week we decided to go for a little walk up on Pew Tor on Dartmoor, which is just a short distance from Tavistock in Devon.

There are plenty of great places to park and then there’s a short walk up to the top of the tor. The views of Tavistock and the rest of Dartmoor are superb, especially on a day like this where the sun was shinning.

As with lots of tor’s on Dartmoor, plenty of people have left letter box stamps hidden away in the cracks and crevasses. Our kids like nothing better than scurrying around looking in all the gaps to see if they can find a plastic tupperware box. Once they’ve found the box it’s time to have a look inside to see what stamp is there and what messages have been left in the book.

It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and thoroughly recommended especially if the weathers good!

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